Version 1 awarded exclusive Global Microsoft Partner of the Year Award for delivery of National Highways app driving safety on England’s roads


IT service provider Version 1, which employs more than 500 people in its Belfast office, has been awarded a prestigious accolade by Microsoft for its work with the UK’s National Highways to improve safety across the road network across England.

Dublin-founded Version 1 was named the global winner in the Modernising Applications 2023 Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards, beating off stiff competition from an international field.

The Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards recognise Microsoft partners which have developed and delivered outstanding Microsoft-based applications, services, and devices during the past year. Awards were classified in various categories, with those honoured chosen from a set of more than 4,200 submitted nominations across 100 countries worldwide.

Version 1 was recognised for providing outstanding solutions and services in Modernising Applications for its innovative transformation of a critical application for National Highways’ Incident Liaison Officers (NILOs). The NILO team are responsible for coordinating information on major incidents - multi-vehicle collisions, severe weather, and freight spillages – over 4,500 miles of England’s strategic road network and are vital to the 254 billion passenger and freight vehicle miles travelled across England every year.

The solution has meant the NILO team has increased the speed at which major traffic incidents are reported by 150%, incident closure efficiency by 82% and incident creation by 50%. It replaces a legacy system and is a key enabler of National Highways £27.4 billion Digital Roads Strategy aimed at revolutionizing how the strategic road network is designed, built, operated and used.

The app significantly improves user productivity and incident handling through easier, faster logging, reporting, and information sharing. This has facilitated smoother coordination of emergency services, dissemination of media updates for the public, and enhanced incident management and road network operation. 

Crucially, for road users, this means a safer, easier journey and improved journey times, bolstering England’s reputation for having the safest roads globally. It also helps National Highways deliver on its commitment to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on its roads by 50% by 2025.

The project was delivered using Version 1’s collection of quick-start delivery accelerators, known as Foundations, which uses prebuilt solutions which incorporate industry best practices and utilise best-of-breed open source and cloud-native technologies. Foundations enables a reduced time to market, reduced delivery risk, increased alignment to standards and improved security.

Tom O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of Version 1, said: “We are delighted to have been named as the global winner in the Modernising Applications 2023 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award. The award cements our reputation as a trusted partner of choice to major organisations in the transformation of critical digital infrastructure and we are pleased to have been recognised by Microsoft.

“The National Highways project is a great example of the transformational projects that Version 1 can deliver which significantly improves efficiency and efficacy for our clients. We are particularly proud to have helped National Highways to make England’s roads safer and thank them for partnering with us.”

Nicole Dezen, Corporate Vice President of Global Partner Solutions at Microsoft, said: “Congratulations to the winners and finalists of the 2023 Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards! The innovative new solutions and services that positively impact customers and enable digital transformation from this year's winners demonstrate the best of what’s possible with the Microsoft Cloud.”

Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards are announced annually prior to the company’s global partner conference, Microsoft Inspire, which will take place on July 18-19 this year.

Pictured, from left, are: Timothy Priest, National Highways; Lindsay Young, National Highways; Guy Hodges, Version 1; Lara Clatworthy, Version 1; Mike Ord, National Highways; Roger Whitehead, Version 1.